by Johna Hansen, L.C.S.W.
While I was at the Albert Ellis Institute one day last week, I received a phone call from the principal at one of my children’s schools. Immediately, the principal told me that there was no emergency. So, I remained calm and assumed he was going to ask me to donate money to the school. Instead, he proceeded to tell me that my son fell off of the monkey bars at school and I should pick him up right away because he and the nurse were afraid my son might have broken his arm. In this moment, I knew I had a choice: I could feel angry and yell at the principal because I believed the principal should have immediately told me there was an emergency…or I could just be annoyed by telling myself that I wished the principal would have immediately told me there was an emergency and move on to making the many necessary phone calls following this one. I chose the latter. I knew that being angry would just delay the process for which I had to make several calls to get everything in order for my child to get the best care as soon as possible. Therefore, I expressed my gratitude to the principal for his call and immediately began making phone calls to my children’s pediatrician, father, and babysitter. Everyone got to where they needed to be just in time and my son was cared for as soon as possible. In the end, I was glad that I didn’t allow myself to indulge in any irrational beliefs that would lead to unhealthy negative emotions as my thinking was much clearer regarding all of the decisions and phone calls that needed to be made.